War of the Rebellion: Serial 066 Page 0031 Chapter XLVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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taken from his duties there and detailed on other than engineer duties with Brigadier-General Hatch. No notice of the fact was ever communicated to me, and when I went yesterday to attend to an important requisition of this officer I was suddenly apprised of his removal.

I have endeavored for some time past to introduce system and order in regard to the collecting, storing and issuing of engineer materials. It is quite a labor to get matters arranged properly. Great care has to be observed in selecting the proper officers who will attend to the issuing of the tools and materials economically and hold those who receive them to strict accountability. But until this is done waste, confusion, and inferior work will be the result. It is perfectly impossible for me to maintain depots, keep them properly provided, and keep myself informed of their contents, if I am to be thus interfered with and engineer officers removed from their stations without either any notice given to supply their places. The importance of facilitating work at Jacksonville just at this time renders the affair the more embarrassing.

I would therefore, general, respectfully request that Lieutenant Talcott be ordered to resume his duties at the engineer depot at Jacksonville, and if I must lose one of my officers I could better spare Lieutenant Van Winkle, One hundred and third New York Volunteers, from this office, where I have everything under my own eye.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES W. ABERT,

Major, U. S. Engineers, Assistant Engineer.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, March 31, 1864.

Respectfully referred to General Hatch.

Lieutenant Van Winkle, One hundred and third New York Volunteer Infantry, will be ordered to report to Brigadier-General Hatch for duty as aide-de-camp, and General Hatch will, as soon as practicable, return Lieutenant Talcott to his duties in charge of engineer depot at Jacksonville.

Q. A. GILLMORE,

Major-General.

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 1, 1864.

Major-General GILLMORE,

Department of the South:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 25th is received. The object in directing the regiments and portions of regiments on furlough from your department to rendezvous here is not to separate them from their commands, but simply to retain them here till General Grant determines where their commands are to go. If they remain in the Department of the South, or go to the Gulf, their men will be sent to them there; if they come north, these men will meet them on the way or join them at their point of debarkation. General Grant has gone to Norfolk, and will probably decide these questions